Fitness Articles

Sneak in Exercise Before Pregnancy

Tips for Shaping Up

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Thinking about getting pregnant? This is a perfect time to start an exercise program to get your body in shape. Exercise will tone and strengthen your muscles as well as condition your body. By preparing now, you will be in better shape for the challenging tasks of carrying and delivering your baby-to-be. Do you feel you are one of the many who do not have the time to devote to a fitness routine? Then, check out these tips on ways to "sneak it in" and "shape it up."
  • Add an active twist to your usual routines at home. For example, ride your bike to the neighbor’s house instead of calling them on the phone.
  • Choose activities that YOU find enjoyable and invigorating.
  • Avoid any exercise that causes pain.
  • Return to the ways of old – wash the car yourself, cut your lawn with a push mower, shovel the snow from your driveway.
  • Exercise at your own pace, increasing the intensity when YOU feel comfortable.
  • Give a deep-massaging back rub to your partner. This is great for your arm, chest, and back muscles, and you might get one in return.
  • Keep up your energy levels by eating properly and getting adequate amounts of sleep.
  • Weed the garden. If you do not have one, plant one. A garden provides physical activity throughout the growing season as well as fresh fruits and veggies.
  • Vary your exercise routine to keep it interesting.
  • Bake bread – the kneading and punching tones the arms.
  • Choose activities that are convenient and fit your lifestyle. Avoid adding to your life’s complexity and stress.
  • Forego the elevators and escalators. Take the stairs between floors.
  • Take a refreshing walk outside during your lunch break.
  • Look for exercise opportunities that provide social interaction and support, such as a walking club or aerobics class.
  • Deliver a memo instead of sending it via e-mail. Walk to a co-worker’s office instead of dialing an extension. Use the copier or bathroom on a different floor and take the stairs.
  • If cost is a deterrent, seek out activities that do not require expensive equipment or facilities. Programs run by community or non-profit organizations often cost less to join.
  • Partner with a friend for daily walks or bike rides around the neighborhood.
  • Park your car in the far reaches of a parking lot.
  • Take a walk with your dog. Your pet needs to stay fit too.
  • Rediscover some favorite childhood activities – bowling, archery, roller skating, jumping rope, swimming, sled riding.
  • Listen to your favorite music as you exercise.
Remember to check first with your doctor before beginning an exercise program. Then have fun "sneaking" exercise into your daily life. Remember, small steps can make a big difference to your health, so take the stairs next time, and the next time, and the next time. . .
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About The Author

Becky Hand Becky Hand
Becky is a registered and licensed dietitian with almost 20 years of experience. A certified health coach through the Cooper Institute with a master's degree in health education, she makes nutrition principles practical, easy-to-apply and fun. See all of Becky's articles.

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